Nation-building and the tasks of encouraging a sense of national identity and political community pose an immense challenge in Papua New Guinea (PNG). With over 830 languages, it is one of the most linguistically and ethnically diverse countries in the world. Since independence in 1975, PNG has experienced high levels of political instability with frequent changes of government and allegations of corruption. Local and traditional obligations to extended family and language groups frequently supersede allegiances to the nation-state. This paper examines the attitudes of tertiary students from the University of PNG to national identity and key issues of nation-building. These students are highly likely to feature strongly among the next generation of leaders. Findings highlight the importance of family, religion and maintaining traditional customs. They also illustrate the importance of geographical region and gender in explaining differences in key attitudes towards national identity.